New York Stock Exchange

This article is about the stock exchange. For its parent company, see Intercontinental Exchange.
New York Stock Exchage
The NYSE's logo

The New York Stock Exchange in 2012.
Type Stock exchange
Location New York City, New York, U.S.
Founded May 17, 1792 (1792-05-17)[1]
Owner Intercontinental Exchange
Key people Duncan L. Niederauer CEO
Currency United States Dollar
No. of listings 2,400[2]
Market cap US$19.3T[3]
Volume US$20.161T (2011)

New York Stock Exchange

Front Elevation of the New York Stock Exchange.
Coordinates 40°42′24.6″N 74°0′39.7″W / 40.706833°N 74.011028°W / 40.706833; -74.011028Coordinates: 40°42′24.6″N 74°0′39.7″W / 40.706833°N 74.011028°W / 40.706833; -74.011028
Built 1903
Architect Trowbridge & Livingston; George B. Post
Architectural style Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 78001877
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 2, 1978[4]
Designated NHL June 2, 1978[5]

The New York Stock Exchange (abbreviated as NYSE and nicknamed "The Big Board"[6]), is an American stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York. It is by far[7][8] the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at US$19.3 trillion as of June 2016.[3] The average daily trading value was approximately US$169 billion in 2013. The NYSE trading floor is located at 11 Wall Street and is composed of 21 rooms used for the facilitation of trading. A fifth trading room, located at 30 Broad Street, was closed in February 2007. The main building and the 11 Wall Street building were designated National Historic Landmarks in 1978.

The NYSE is owned by Intercontinental Exchange, an American holding company that it also lists (NYSE: ICE). Previously, it was part of NYSE Euronext (NYX), which was formed by the NYSE's 2007 merger with Euronext.[9] NYSE and Euronext now operate as divisions of Intercontinental Exchange.

The NYSE has been the subject of several lawsuits regarding fraud or breach of duty[10][11] and in 2004 was sued by its former CEO for breach of contract and defamation.[12]


The Stock Exchange at 10–12 Broad Street, in 1882

The earliest recorded organization of securities trading in New York among brokers directly dealing with each other can be traced to the Buttonwood Agreement. Previously securities exchange had been intermediated by the auctioneers who also conducted more mundane auctions of commodities such as wheat and tobacco.[13] On May 17, 1792 twenty four brokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement which set a floor commission rate charged to clients and bound the signers to give preference to the other signers in securities sales. The earliest securities traded were mostly governmental securities such as War Bonds from the Revolutionary War and First Bank of the United States stock,[13] although Bank of New York stock was a non-governmental security traded in the early days.

In 1817 the stockbrokers of New York operating under the Buttonwood Agreement instituted new reforms and reorganized. After sending a delegation to Philadelphia to observe the organization of their board of brokers, restrictions on manipulative trading were adopted as well as formal organs of governance.[13] After re-forming as the New York Stock and Exchange Board the broker organization began renting out space exclusively for securities trading, which previously had been taking place at the Tontine Coffee House. Several locations were used between 1817 and 1865, when the present location was adopted.[13]

The invention of the electrical telegraph consolidated markets, and New York's market rose to dominance over Philadelphia after weathering some market panics better than other alternatives.[13] The Civil War greatly stimulated speculative securities trading in New York. By 1869 membership had to be capped, and has been sporadically increased since. The latter half of the nineteenth century saw rapid growth in securities trading.

Securities trade in the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was prone to panics and crashes. Government regulation of securities trading was eventually seen as necessary, with arguably the most dramatic changes occurring in the 1930s after a major stock market crash precipitated an economic depression.

The Stock Exchange Luncheon Club was situated on the seventh floor from 1898 until its closure in 2006.[14]

The main building, located at 18 Broad Street, between the corners of Wall Street and Exchange Place, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978,[15] as was the 11 Wall Street building.[5][16][17]

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1908

The NYSE announced its plans to merge with Archipelago on April 21, 2005, in a deal intended to reorganize the NYSE as a publicly traded company. NYSE's governing board voted to merge with rival Archipelago on December 6, 2005, and become a for-profit, public company. It began trading under the name NYSE Group on March 8, 2006. A little over one year later, on April 4, 2007, the NYSE Group completed its merger with Euronext, the European combined stock market, thus forming NYSE Euronext, the first transatlantic stock exchange.

Wall Street is the leading US money center for international financial activities and the foremost US location for the conduct of wholesale financial services. "It comprises a matrix of wholesale financial sectors, financial markets, financial institutions, and financial industry firms" (Robert, 2002). The principal sectors are securities industry, commercial banking, asset management, and insurance.

Prior to the acquisition of NYSE Euronext by the ICE in 2013, Marsh Carter was the Chairman of the NYSE and the CEO was Duncan Niederauer. Presently, the chairman is Jeffrey Sprecher.[18]

Notable events

The exchange was closed shortly after the beginning of World War I (July 31, 1914), but it partially re-opened on November 28 of that year in order to help the war effort by trading bonds,[19] and completely reopened for stock trading in mid-December.

On September 16, 1920, a bomb exploded on Wall Street outside the NYSE building, killing 33 people and injuring more than 400. The perpetrators were never found. The NYSE building and some buildings nearby, such as the JP Morgan building, still have marks on their façades caused by the bombing.

The Black Thursday crash of the Exchange on October 24, 1929, and the sell-off panic which started on Black Tuesday, October 29, are often blamed for precipitating the Great Depression. In an effort to try to restore investor confidence, the Exchange unveiled a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public on October 31, 1938.

On October 1, 1934, the exchange was registered as a national securities exchange with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, with a president and a thirty-three-member board. On February 18, 1971, the non-profit corporation was formed, and the number of board members was reduced to twenty-five.

One of Abbie Hoffman's well-known publicity stunts took place in 1967, when he led members of the Yippie movement to the Exchange's gallery. The provocateurs hurled fistfuls of dollars toward the trading floor below. Some traders booed, and some laughed and waved. Three months later the stock exchange enclosed the gallery with bulletproof glass.[20] Hoffman wrote a decade later, "We didn't call the press; at that time we really had no notion of anything called a media event".[21]

NYSE's stock exchange traders floor before the introduction of electronic readouts and computer screens.

On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 508 points, a 22.6% loss in a single day, the second-biggest one-day drop the exchange had experienced. Black Monday was followed by Terrible Tuesday, a day in which the Exchange's systems did not perform well and some people had difficulty completing their trades.

Subsequently, there was another major drop for the Dow on October 13, 1989—the Mini-Crash of 1989. The crash was apparently caused by a reaction to a news story of a $6.75 billion leveraged buyout deal for UAL Corporation, the parent company of United Airlines, which broke down. When the UAL deal fell through, it helped trigger the collapse of the junk bond market causing the Dow to fall 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent.

Similarly, there was a panic in the financial world during the year of 1997; the Asian Financial Crisis. Like the fall of many foreign markets, the Dow suffered a 7.18% drop in value (554.26 points) on October 27, 1997, in what later became known as the 1997 Mini-Crash but from which the DJIA recovered quickly. This was the first time that the "circuit breaker" rule had operated.

On January 26, 2000, an altercation during filming of the music video for "Sleep Now in the Fire", which was directed by Michael Moore, caused the doors of the exchange to be closed and the band Rage Against the Machine to be escorted from the site by security[22] after band members attempted to gain entry into the exchange.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NYSE was closed for 4 trading sessions, resuming on Monday, September 17, one of the rare times the NYSE was closed for more than one session and only the third time since March 1933. On the first day, the NYSE suffered a 7.1% drop in value (684 points), after a week, it dropped by 14% (1370 points). An estimated of $1.4 trillion was lost within five days of trading.[23]

On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its largest intraday percentage drop since the October 19, 1987, crash, with a 998-point loss later being called the 2010 Flash Crash (as the drop occurred in minutes before rebounding). The SEC and CFTC published a report on the event, although it did not come to a conclusion as to the cause. The regulators found no evidence that the fall was caused by erroneous ("fat finger") orders.[24]

On October 29, 2012, the stock exchange was shut down for 2 days due to Hurricane Sandy.[25] The last time the stock exchange was closed due to weather for a full two days was on March 12 and 13 in 1888.[26]

On May 1, 2014, the stock exchange was fined $4.5 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges it violated market rules.[27]

On August 14, 2014, Berkshire Hathaway's A Class shares, the highest priced shares on the NYSE, hit $200,000 a share for the first time.[28]

On July 8, 2015, technical issues affected the stock exchange, halting trading at 11:32 am ET. The NYSE reassured stock traders that the outage was "not a result of a cyber breach", and the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that there was "no sign of malicious activity".[29] Trading eventually resumed at 3:10 pm ET the same day.

Official holidays and related special circumstances

The New York Stock Exchange is closed on all federal holidays except Veterans Day, including New Year's Day, Independence Day, and Christmas. However, certain types of years require the stock exchange to be closed on days that are not federal holidays in observance of the aforementioned three holidays. In a Leap year starting on Wednesday (1992/2020) or a Common year starting on Thursday (2009/2015/2026), the day before Independence Day is given as a full holiday since the stock exchange is always closed on Saturday. In a Leap year starting on Thursday (2004/2032) or a Common year starting on Friday (2010/2021/2027) the day after Independence Day is given as a full holiday since the stock exchange is always closed on Sunday. Also, in the just aforementioned year types, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are also given as full holidays. In a Leap year starting on Friday (2016/2044) or a Common year starting on Saturday (2005/2011/2022) the day before Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas are given as full holidays. In a Leap year starting on Sunday (2012/2040) or a Common year starting on Sunday (2006/2017/2023) the day after New Year's Day is given as a full holiday.


The NYSE trading floor in August 2008.

The New York Stock Exchange (sometimes referred to as "the Big Board") provides a means for buyers and sellers to trade shares of stock in companies registered for public trading. The NYSE is open for trading Monday through Friday from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm ET, with the exception of holidays declared by the Exchange in advance.

The NYSE trades in a continuous auction format, where traders can execute stock transactions on behalf of investors. They will gather around the appropriate post where a specialist broker, who is employed by a NYSE member firm (that is, he/she is not an employee of the New York Stock Exchange), acts as an auctioneer in an open outcry auction market environment to bring buyers and sellers together and to manage the actual auction. They do on occasion (approximately 10% of the time) facilitate the trades by committing their own capital and as a matter of course disseminate information to the crowd that helps to bring buyers and sellers together. The auction process moved toward automation in 1995 through the use of wireless hand held computers (HHC). The system enabled traders to receive and execute orders electronically via wireless transmission. On September 25, 1995, NYSE member Michael Einersen, who designed and developed this system, executed 1000 shares of IBM through this HHC ending a 203-year process of paper transactions and ushering in an era of automated trading.

As of January 24, 2007, all NYSE stocks can be traded via its electronic hybrid market (except for a small group of very high-priced stocks). Customers can now send orders for immediate electronic execution, or route orders to the floor for trade in the auction market. In the first three months of 2007, in excess of 82% of all order volume was delivered to the floor electronically.[30] NYSE works with US regulators like the SEC and CFTC to coordinate risk management measures in the electronic trading environment through the implementation of mechanisms like circuit breakers and liquidity replenishment points.[31]

Until 2005, the right to directly trade shares on the exchange was conferred upon owners of the 1366 "seats". The term comes from the fact that up until the 1870s NYSE members sat in chairs to trade. In 1868, the number of seats was fixed at 533, and this number was increased several times over the years. In 1953, the number of seats was set at 1,366. These seats were a sought-after commodity as they conferred the ability to directly trade stock on the NYSE, and seat holders were commonly referred to as members of the NYSE. The Barnes family is the only known lineage to have five generations of NYSE members: Winthrop H. Barnes (admitted 1894), Richard W.P. Barnes (admitted 1926), Richard S. Barnes (admitted 1951), Robert H. Barnes (admitted 1972), Derek J. Barnes (admitted 2003). Seat prices varied widely over the years, generally falling during recessions and rising during economic expansions. The most expensive inflation-adjusted seat was sold in 1929 for $625,000, which, today, would be over six million dollars. In recent times, seats have sold for as high as $4 million in the late 1990s and as low as $1 million in 2001. In 2005, seat prices shot up to $3.25 million as the exchange entered into an agreement to merge with Archipelago and become a for-profit, publicly traded company. Seat owners received $500,000 in cash per seat and 77,000 shares of the newly formed corporation. The NYSE now sells one-year licenses to trade directly on the exchange. Licenses for floor trading are available for $40,000 and a license for bond trading is available for as little as $1,000 as of 2010.[32] Neither are resell-able, but may be transferable during a change of ownership of a corporation holding a trading license.

Following the Black Monday market crash in 1987, NYSE imposed trading curbs to reduce market volatility and massive panic sell-offs. Following the 2011 rule change, at the start of each trading day, the NYSE sets three circuit breaker levels at levels of 7% (Level 1), 13% (Level 2), and 20% (Level 3) of the average closing price of the S&P 500 for the preceding trading day. Level 1 and Level 2 declines result in a 15-minute trading halt unless they occur after 3:25 pm, when no trading halts apply. A Level 3 decline results in trading being suspended for the remainder of the day.[33] (The biggest one-day decline in the S&P 500 since 1987 was the 9.0% drop on October 15, 2008.)

NYSE Composite Index

In the mid-1960s, the NYSE Composite Index (NYSE: NYA) was created, with a base value of 50 points equal to the 1965 yearly close.[34] This was done to reflect the value of all stocks trading at the exchange instead of just the 30 stocks included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. To raise the profile of the composite index, in 2003 the NYSE set its new base value of 5,000 points equal to the 2002 yearly close. Its close at the end of 2013 was 10,400.32.


The NYSE at Christmas time (December 2008)

Merger, acquisition, and control

On February 15, 2011, NYSE and Deutsche Börse announced their merger to form a new company, as yet unnamed, wherein Deutsche Börse shareholders will have 60% ownership of the new entity, and NYSE Euronext shareholders will have 40%.

On February 1, 2012, the European Commission blocked the merger of NYSE with Deutsche Börse, after commissioner Joaquin Almunia stated that the merger "would have led to a near-monopoly in European financial derivatives worldwide".[46] Instead, Deutsche Börse and NYSE will have to sell either their Eurex derivatives or LIFFE shares in order to not create a monopoly. On February 2, 2012, NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse agreed to scrap the merger.[47]

In April 2011, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an American futures exchange, and NASDAQ OMX Group had together made an unsolicited proposal to buy NYSE Euronext for approximately US$11,000,000,000, a deal in which NASDAQ would have taken control of the stock exchanges.[48] NYSE Euronext rejected this offer twice, but it was finally terminated after the United States Department of Justice indicated their intention to block the deal due to antitrust concerns.[48]

In December 2012, ICE had proposed to buy NYSE Euronext in a stock swap with a valuation of $8 billion.[9][48] NYSE Euronext shareholders would receive either $33.12 in cash, or $11.27 in cash and approximately a sixth of a share of ICE. The chairman and CEO of ICE, Jeffrey Sprecher, will retain those positions, but four members of the NYSE board of directors will be added to the ICE board.[9]

Opening and closing bells

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans rings the 'opening bell' at the NYSE on April 23, 2003. Former chairman Jack Womack is also in this picture.
NASA astronauts Scott Altman and Mike Massimino ring the 'closing bell'.

The NYSE's opening and closing bells mark the beginning and the end of each trading day. The 'opening bell' is rung at 9:30 am ET to mark the start of the day's trading session. At 4 pm ET the 'closing bell' is rung and trading for the day stops. There are bells located in each of the four main sections of the NYSE that all ring at the same time once a button is pressed.[49] There are three buttons that control the bells, located on the control panel behind the podium which overlooks the trading floor. The main bell, which is rung at the beginning and end of the trading day, is controlled by a green button. The second button, colored orange, activates a single-stroke bell that is used to signal a moment of silence. A third, red button controls a backup bell which is used in case the main bell fails to ring.[50]


The signal to start and stop trading was not always a bell. The original signal was a gavel (which is still in use today along with the bell), but during the late 1800s, the NYSE decided to switch the gavel for a gong to signal the day's beginning and end. After the NYSE changed to its present location at 18 Broad Street in 1903, the gong was switched to the bell format that is currently being used.

A common sight today is the highly publicized events in which a celebrity or executive from a corporation stands behind the NYSE podium and pushes the button that signals the bells to ring. Many consider the act of ringing the bells to be quite an honor and a symbol of a lifetime of achievement. Furthermore, due to the amount of coverage that the opening/closing bells receive, many companies coordinate new product launches and other marketing-related events to start on the same day as when the company's representatives ring the bell. This daily tradition wasn't always this highly publicized either. In fact, it was only in 1995 that the NYSE began having special guests ring the bells on a regular basis. Prior to that, ringing the bells was usually the responsibility of the exchange's floor managers.[49]

Notable bell-ringers

Many of the people who ring the bell are business executives whose companies trade on the exchange. However, there have also been many famous people from outside the world of business that have rung the bell. Athletes such as Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees and Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, entertainers such as rapper Snoop Dogg and members of the band Kiss, and politicians such as Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani and President of South Africa Nelson Mandela have all had the honor of ringing the bell. Two United Nations Secretaries General have also rung the bell. On April 27, 2006, Secretary-General Kofi Annan rang the opening bell to launch the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.[51] On July 24, 2013, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rang the closing bell to celebrate the NYSE joining the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.[52]

In addition there have been many bell-ringers who are famous for heroic deeds, such as members of the New York police and fire departments following the events of 9/11, members of the United States Armed Forces serving overseas, and participants in various charitable organizations.

There have also been several fictional characters that have rung the bell, including Mickey Mouse, the Pink Panther, Mr. Potato Head, the Aflac Duck, and Darth Vader.[53]

See also

New York Stock Exchange listed stocks:

0–9 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z



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